What are open adoption contracts?
Open adoption contracts are contracts signed by biological parents and adoptive parents at placement (or thereabouts) that outline the open adoption relationship. Some states have them. Some don’t. Some are enforceable. Some aren’t.
If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you know how I feel about open adoption.
Tyson having a Skype lunch date with his birth mother on his birthday.
That said, I am on the fence about enforceable open adoption contracts.
A couple weeks ago I spoke to Brooke Adams of The Salt Lake Tribune about the relationships we have with our kids’ birth families about how I feel things would have been different had we signed a contract when we were newbies in the adoption world.
I know we would have kept our promises, but would we have made the effort to have a relationship?
“This works for us because it can constantly evolve,” Redfern said. “When we started out, we had no idea what we wanted. What it looks like now is not what it looked like five years ago. My fear is that if we were to have signed a contract five years ago we would have grossly missed out on a huge relationship. … The beauty of not having it set in stone is it has been able to explode into [the birth mother being] part of our family, period.”
But there is flip side, she said. “I worry that not everybody is like us,” Redfern acknowledges, “and having a contract would protect a birth parent from adoptive parents who would say anything and then ‘peace out.’ I know birth families that have had that happen and I know adoptive families that have done that.” –Open adoption is norm; should arrangements be enforced?
I also know birth families who have promised adoptive couples that they will remain in an open relationship and then fall out of the picture. I worry about the child in those situations especially when an open adoption was promised.
How do you feel about enforceable open adoption contracts?
Tell me in the comments. I need to hear from you because I am seriously, seriously on the fence on it. I see HUGE negatives. I see HUGE positives.
Talk to me, people.